An Honorable Mention from The Green Study “What’s on the B Side of that 45?” Contest goes to Meryl at Six Decades and Counting…Life Reinvented for her inspirational essay about the upside of aging.
She was sent one The Green Study Coffee Mug, a postcard from Minneapolis and $25 donation was made to her local Red Cross chapter.
“My Time is Now”
By Meryl at Six Decades and Counting…Life Reinvented
Crossing over into the fifth and sixth decades of life can be traumatic – I speak from personal experience – yet at the same time present opportunities previously ignored, avoided, or put off to some unspecified future date.
Early adult decades are punctuated by major life events and the reality of a constant rush and commotion. The years are chock full of growing up, finding jobs and settling into a career, getting married, having kids and raising a family. All kinds of activities, positive and negative, stir the pot.
Suddenly, if you are lucky, you can sit back one day, take a deep breath and realize –
My Time has come. My time is now.
Maybe the kids leave for college. You have extra time, more room in the house, and control of the remote. Grocery bills shrink and the extra cash in your wallet and gas in your car does not disappear. (Personal experience and discussions with contemporaries provide ample evidence to support these claims.)
Maybe you feel secure and happy with your job. Maybe your relationship with a spouse or significant other is going well, or a bad relationship finally ended.
Mature adult years offer time to pursue activities left behind in youth or never attempted because of time, finances, or other issues. Take the plunge and do whatever that little voice in the back of your mind says you want to do, but for too many years were ignored and pushed to the back of your brain.
Now is the time to bring it on.
It might be little things. Exercise more, begin reading those novels gathering dust on the shelf, get together with friends you never had much time for in past years. Those belly dancing classes forsaken with the birth of my first child started again twenty years later. On the other hand I did not waste time renewing an interest in tennis or golf, activities tried and abandoned with no regrets years earlier.
It could be bigger things, such as traveling, downsizing or relocating. Travel reignites an interest in people and places different from our daily experience. It is a dangerous pursuit, however, if one fails to walk or in some way exercise off the calories absorbed enjoying different cuisines. Those extra pounds get harder to shed the older one gets. I know this from excruciating personal experience, bolstered by the laments of numerous contemporaries.
Downsizing is a cleansing, exhilarating experience, although exhausting during the actual process. The same with relocating.
Different kinds of diversions, some upbeat and others not so much, often face individuals heading into their fifth and sixth decades. Children boomerang and return home. Aging parents may require your time and attention. Health issues begin to surface and you realize if you do not begin accomplishing items on your bucket list, physical and/or mental issues will curtail your plans.
On the other hand you might find yourself planning weddings and welcoming grandchildren. Dissatisfaction with a job may spur changes, and an entirely new career energize and excite you.
I think the key to aging well and enjoying the second half-century of life is to welcome and embrace new opportunities. This is the time to forget about putting things off saying, “No, I can’t. Maybe next time.”
This is the time of life to say, “Yes I will,” and open the door wide when opportunity knocks.
Check out her blog and get inspired: